December 24, 2010

More cancer?

We saw Dr G yesterday and my tumor markers have been rising slightly for the past three checks. That might indicate that the Faslodex is working (i.e., you get a bump up in tumor markers at first) OR if it's a steady rise, it might mean that the Faslodex is not working. Hard to say. By physical exam, I am "completely stable."

Dr G and I discussed another PET/CT scan, an expensive test which apparently I haven't had since July 2008. This scan measures the cancer's activity by noting how quickly the tumors take up glucose (sugar).

If the PET/CT scan reveals much more active cancer, and it becomes apparent that the Faslodex is not working, the back up plan is for me to start another chemo, Navelbine (vinorelbine), in January.

Dr G tells me that Navelbine tends to be very mild when compared to other chemotherapies, and just as effective as anything else. For those of a medical turn of mind, here is a link to the recent Journal of Clinical Oncology which Dr G shared with me. You may find it interesting. Technical, but interesting. All others, note the abstract's final paragraph:
Conclusion The study failed to demonstrate superiority of any drug in terms of efficacy, but the vinorelbine combination had significantly fewer adverse effects and should be considered as an alternative first-line option.

Wait and see....

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